Rayong head coach Masami Taki hit out at the standard of Thai refereeing after a number of controversial decisions were made on Matchday 27.
During Rayong’s 5-1 defeat at the hands of Sukhothai FC, the relegated club conceded a penalty, had a man sent off and saw their opponents score when it was unclear if the ball had crossed the line.
Following the final whistle, an emotional Taki used his press conference to highlight what he felt was an endemic problem with Thai League officiating.
“I love Thai football but it’s because of an unfortunate event that I am sad,” a tearful Taki said. “I am proud of my players, but I am so disappointed to have to experience something like this.”
While Taki’s comments were extremely critical, he also made a plea for fans to help improve the standard.
“Thai football, which I love, is in your hands,” he said. “Change Thai football and let’s all go to the World Cup together.”
After the match, the former Chiangrai United boss took to social media to express his frustration.
On his Facebook account, Taki wrote, “Bad decisions can’t be avoided, but cheating should not be allowed. I refuse to accept that there are referees willing to cheat to the extent that even VAR can’t stop them. If you want football to grow, you should not accept this behavior.”
Twenty-four hours later, Taki’s countryman Masatada Ishii faced the media after his Samut Prakan City side conceded two debatable penalties in the dying minutes of their game against Buriram United.
The late double turned the game on its head and handed the visitors a 2-1 victory. Courteous as ever despite the circumstances of defeat, Ishii focused more on the performance of his players than that of the match officials.
“I am displeased and unhappy about this game. I haven’t seen the penalty incident yet because it was quite far away but it was the ref’s decision to give both penalties,” Ishii said.
“If we had played like we did in the first half in the second half, I doubt the result would have been the same.”
When pressed further on the refereeing, Ishii was more diplomatic.
“Regarding the standard of Thai referees, it is what it is,” he added. “Everyone sees it, everyone knows how it is. I want you to judge for yourself based on what you see.”